Please find attached photos of my grandfathers old IRA medals. His name was James Kearns, Owenwee. Also attached is a list of volunteers from the Owenwee, Liscarney area who participated in activities in the area.
My grandfather’s brother John was captured during activities & imprisoned, but not sure where. James immigrated to the USA & joined the army there, after a number of years, he returned home as his brother died young & he came home to take over the family farm. We are very proud of our grandfather & his brother in enabling our fight for freedom. The medals are in pristine condition all those years later. (Irene (Navin) Reilly)
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Below are photos of my uncles, John and James Kearns of Owenwee. One is of a young John Kearns, in his IRA uniform. The second photo is of James Kearns, (standing) and John Kearns (sitting)
John and James sent information to other IRA members through their young sister Elizabeth (my mother). She would walk from their home in Owenwee to her school, St. Mary’s in Westport, and deliver a written message along the way. At the time, young girls wore pinafores over their dress when attending school and the messages were hidden in the pocket of her pinafore.
When Elizabeth was about 13 years old, she visited her brother John at the British prison where he was being held. We do not know the name of the prison. Unbeknownst to the British, and at great risk to herself, she was carrying a message containing the instructions for the escape of her brother and six other prisoners. The instructions for the escape were handed off to the intended recipient, one of her brother John’s associates, and they successfully carried out the escape.
Thomas Kelly Golden, Colorado, USA
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